Yesterday’s post named “Old age isn’t for sissies, or is it?” concluded with “Old age is for sissies, sweet happy old sissies.” The route to that idea was that a person who treated others well developed the habit of treating themselves well and thus their old age was healthy and happy because they were living with a kind person and that person was themselves. People who are nasty usually die off before they reach old age, but before they go they complain about how unpleasant it is to be alive. The so-called sissies usually say they are happy and often say they are happier than they have ever been.
Today I was planning to write about goodness itself and quickly came across a quotation by Zoroaster a pre-Pre-Socratic philosopher from Iran. “Doing good to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness….” – Zoroaster. That quote is found on page 200 of Treasury of Spiritual Wisdom by Andy Zubko. That is essentially the subtitle of my current attempt to write another book – Love Your Life – A Way to Approach Health and Happiness. The man Zoroaster may have predated Socrates by a thousand years.
The problem with ancient Zoroaster is that all of his original works have been lost, and only derivative and probably only pseudo works attributed to him survive. Thus what we are left with is Zoroastrianism, with the emphasis on the “ism” part of that word. But that is like approaching what Jesus said by listening to a modern sermon. The contact with the source is very tangential and more a grasping at an authority for unsubstantiatable assertions.
My current feeling is that the past is gone and therefore it is no longer good or bad; only how it is influencing us at the present is good or bad. We must work with what is, the past is fixed and gone, and we must also work in the present with the inevitable things that are certain to come in the future. That relationship with the future is what is at the core of wisdom, and the more accurately an individual’s wisdom reflects physical, social and personal realities, the healthier and happier the person will become.
Love Your Life suggestion # 140 – Work with what is and what will be.